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Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis wants to fix Cape Town's sewage problems - here's how

3 December 2021 9:33 AM
Tags:
Cape Town Mayor
Geordin Hill-Lewis
Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis

CapeTalk host John Maytham chats to Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis about the City's plans to clean up the sewer system.
  • Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says cleaning up the sewer system is one of his top priorities
  • Hill-Lewis says sewer spills need a short-term service improvement plan
  • He's already taken some steps to improve transparency around water quality across the metro

Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis inspects water and sanitation issues in Khayelitsha on Friday 19 November 2021. Image: Twitter/@geordinhl

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says he's working on a plan of action to reduce sewer spills across the city and improve the quality of Cape Town's waterways.

A number of rivers and vleis in Cape Town are extremely polluted.

Hill-Lewis says one of the first steps to improving the situation is transparency from the City regarding water quality testing.

The mayor says in the past, city officials have tried to block public access to water quality data but that is about to change.

"We all know the rivers are dirty, I don't see what the problem is in saying how dirty they are", Hill-Lewis tells CapeTalk.

RELATED: 'CT water pollution worsening, upgrades to expand sewage capacity long overdue'

The mayor says he's also established a committee tasked with the clean-up of waterways and rivers. He says the committee will include members of various activist organisations in the city.

He admits that city officials dealing with water pollution issues in the Milnerton Lagoon have given residents a "tin ear" in the past.

RELATED: Contaminated Joe Slovo stormwater continues to pour into Milnerton Lagoon - CoCT

In addition, Hill-Lewis says he will be devising a new budget to fund much-needed infrastructure upgrades at wastewater treatment plants "that often overflow into those water catchments".

Finally, he says city officials will also devote more of their energy towards engaging and educating communities to "reduce abuse of our stormwater system all of which empties into those rivers and vleis."

One thing I'm starting this week is around our data release. Many of the organisations around the City have said they've struggled to get water quality data from the City... We're going to change that. I think that the data should be freely available to everyone who needs it.

Geordin Hill-Lewis, Cape Town mayor

I'm setting up a dedicated waterways and rivers clean-up committee that will bring in all these activist groups from around the city around the table and we will meet regularly and talk about solutions.

Geordin Hill-Lewis, Cape Town mayor

It's an extraordinarily difficult problem, it's not just something that can be done at the push of a button or just with more money because the pollution sources in these water bodies are numerous and come from many different directions and communities.

Geordin Hill-Lewis, Cape Town mayor

I have this vision in my mind of, before the end of my first term, going for a swim in the City of Cape Town river which I would never do at the moment, and that's got to change.

Geordin Hill-Lewis, Cape Town mayor



3 December 2021 9:33 AM
Tags:
Cape Town Mayor
Geordin Hill-Lewis
Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis

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